There is nothing like a real Christmas tree the smell, feel, appearance, emotions and memories associated with them. Many traditions are rooted in these piney conifers, whether it be family time in the woods or on the local lot picking out the perfect tree and going home to decorate it, or taking in the grandeur of the massive, bedecked tree in Rockefeller Center in New York City.
In recent years, artificial Christmas trees have become affordable and readily available. Every Christmas, when it comes time to purchase their Christmas tree, many find themselves grappling with the question, "what is the environmentally responsible choice – a real Christmas tree or an artificial one?" There are many misconceptions out there.
Here are four reasons why getting a REAL Christmas tree is the right choice when it comes to protecting our environment:
1. Real Christmas trees are a renewable resource.
Christmas trees are an agricultural crop, and according to the National Christmas Tree Association, “growers plant one to three new seedlings for every tree they harvest.”
2. Real Christmas trees fight climate change. While they are growing, trees absorb harmful carbon dioxide and emit fresh oxygen. On the other hand, the production and shipment of artificial trees, which are petroleum-based products primarily manufactured in China, produce intense carbon emissions.
“In the U.S., around 10 million artificial trees are purchased each season. Nearly 90 percent of them are shipped across the world from China, increasing carbon emissions and resources.” – The Nature Conservancy.
3. Real Christmas trees are recyclable. Most communities have tree recycling programs that use the trees for conservation and habitat projects like creating new habitats for fish in Canyon Ferry Lake, Montana. Artificial trees are usually not recyclable and end up in landfills for thousands of years. It’s reported that households only keep their artificial trees for an average of 6 years. Evidence shows that an artificial tree needs to be used for 20 years to compare favorably with real trees (see: Two Sides North America).
4. Real Christmas trees support healthy forests. 350-500 million trees are growing on tree farms in the US, and 30 million are harvested for Christmas trees each year. By purchasing a real tree, you are helping to keep a tree farm in business and their land covered by healthy growing forests, which provide habitat for wildlife, aid in the fight against climate change, and so much more (see: The Nature Conservancy).
There is no question about where the Montana Logging Association and its members stand. Being dedicated stewards of Montana’s forest, they know the many benefits of responsible timber harvesting.
They will work to ensure that there is always a big, beautiful Montana-grown tree in the state capitol building at Christmas time.